Join Date: May 2002
Thanked 78 Times in 76 Posts
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In order to convict anyone for a crime, the prosecution has to show the requisite degree of criminal intent. An intent to pay, and to accept, illegal compensation in exchange for a boat ride is clearly present in beachgoer's offer.
mjname makes a good point. In the situation he described, law enforcement had a weak basis for citing the person for accepting illegal compensation. But, they used that as a pretext to make a search for illegal drugs. If they had found any contraband (i.e., a concealed or unregistered weapon, drugs, etc.), they would have cited the boater for more serious offenses. mjname says the charge was eventually dropped, after no drugs were found. But, suppose one of the "paying" passengers brought along some drugs, and stashed them in a duffel bag on the boat. His friend could have been in jeopardy of having his boat confiscated.
Also, this offer was made in June, 2002, not long after 9/11, and after the US decided to go to war against terrorism. This could have been a scheme to gain access to your nice, unobtrusive, non-threatening sailboat, and use it against some target in LA harbor.
People need to think about these possibilities before they accept a cockamamie offer like this. These awful things probably won't happen, but if you gamble and lose, the consequences to you would be disastrous.